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Riverside Recovery design remains in sync with care process

January 24, 2018
by Joanne Sammer
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Addiction treatment with a river view is not the only feature of Riverside Recovery’s new Tampa, Fla., facility. Many facets of the facility’s design are in sync with the recovery process, while also making the most of a setting on the banks of the Hillsborough River.

“Everything about the design was intentional and focused on promoting a sense of peace and calmness for our clients and creating a safe and efficient environment,” says Ashley Janes, the facility’s director of business development. “We are located on the river, so the interior follows the theme and design.”

The facility currently operates with 66 beds, including 15 beds for detox. Once all of the renovations to the 60,000 square-foot building are completed, the facility will nearly double its capacity to 120 beds. Its services include a 30-day residential program, detoxification, and intensive outpatient services for patients age 18 or older with substance misuse and co-occurring mental health issues. The length of stay varies according to patient needs, with an average stay of three to ten days for detox, 30 to 90 days for residential care, and four to eight weeks for outpatient care.

Design for recovery

The design and layout of the facility plays a role in the recovery experience as soon as patients walk in. The facility, which opened its doors to new patients last summer, is designed to make the intake process as smooth and inviting as possible.

For example, the lobby reception area is sunny and open with high ceilings, a wall of windows and art on the walls. The tile flooring used in this area continues throughout the facility to ensure continuity. The tile itself resembles natural plank wood flooring but is more durable and easier to sanitize than real wood. The can lighting used in the lobby is also consistent throughout the facility and provides a softer ambiance and avoids an institutional feel that harsher fluorescent lighting can create.

“We didn't want the space to feel sterile or hospital-like,” says Janes. “We wanted the environment to feel safe, comfortable, welcoming, peaceful and supportive of the therapeutic process.”

To accomplish that, facility management chose a clean and crisp look for the interior spaces using natural materials, such as wood and leather, as much as possible. The artwork can also be described as both abstract and natural with pictures of trees, river rocks, geodes and water elements. The color scheme of blue and gray hues are designed to promote peace and balance. Group meeting rooms and patient rooms have colorful fabrics to bring more warmth to those areas.

Recovery inside and outside

Once patients enter the lobby, they can immediately be escorted to the adjacent intake room. From there, patients move into their rooms—the men in Strength Hall and the women in Hope Hall. Patients who need increased medical observation reside in Experience Hall, which is located close to the nurses’ station.

The detox area is as secluded as possible in the very back corner of the building. This ensures that patients and staff will have a quiet environment and necessary privacy away from the bustle of administrative activities and common areas. At the same time, the offices of the physician, nurse practitioner and director of nursing are all close by to ensure easier observation and to ensure patient safety. This part of the facility is appropriately named Beginnings Hall. During day-to-day activities, patients and staff can use several common areas set in different parts of the facility.

Given the importance of physical and social activities to recovery, Riverside offers indoor facilities, including a gym with a half basketball court and workout equipment, while also leveraging its riverside location to incorporate the outdoors. Patients have access to a new outdoor swimming pool, sand volleyball court, meditation garden, and fire pit and barbecue area.

The staff can now also incorporate the riverside setting into outdoor activities as much as possible. A new riverside dock allows patients to enjoy fishing and kayaking. All recreation activities are overseen by a certified recreation therapist.


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